Are you looking for a way to help your students gain mastery of French vocabulary, verb conjugation, and language structures? Spiral review is an effective, efficient way to review material in the classroom. Let’s take a look at why spiral review works and how to get started using it in your French class.
What is Spiral Review?
Spiral review is a method of reviewing material where concepts are revisited and reviewed on a regular basis. You do this by introducing new topics while also periodically revisiting old ones. This helps students build on their existing knowledge as well as learn new concepts. This type of review has been used for decades, but with the advent of technology it can be taken even further.
Utilizing Technology for Spiral Review
Technology makes spiral review easier because it allows you to quickly access and review materials from past lessons. By having all of the materials readily available, you can quickly revisit topics when needed. Additionally, utilizing technology can make the process more interactive and engaging for your students by allowing them to view videos, take quizzes, or play games related to the lesson material.
One easy way to use technology to review is by using Boom Cards™️ to review vocabulary and or grammar. If you are a Quizlet user, you can also have students go back to practice sets you have used in the past. You can also play a quick review game using Blooket to make sure the vocabulary or grammar isn’t forgotten.
Tips for Implementing Spiral Review in Your French Classroom
1) Start by reviewing previously learned concepts or topics at the beginning of each class. Spend some time reviewing before moving onto something new. This will help ensure that your students are able to recall what they have learned while also being exposed to new content each week.
For example, if you are planning to start a lesson on using the French conditional tense, it is helpful to start with a review of the future tense. Students will see material that is familiar, and it makes it so much easier to build upon prior knowledge.
2) Incorporate activities that allow your students to revisit vocabulary often. One quick and easy way to do this is with a fun whole-class review game like this categories game. To play, you’ll pick a few categories of vocabulary students have worked with recently. For a beginner class, I might choose these categories.
Once you have written the categories on the board, call out a letter from the alphabet and have students list as many words as they can that start with that letter. If the letter is C, students could write chandail, cerise, crayon, and calme. It’s okay if they can list more than word per category, too. You can call out as many letters as you like for the time you wish to play.
3) Make sure that you keep track of which topics you reviewed during each lesson so that you can easily reference them when needed in future classes. This will help you create an effective plan for spiral review over time and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks!
4) Set aside time at the end of each lesson for a “wrap up” session. You can go over any questions or concerns that may have come up during class time. I love using exit tickets as a way to look quickly at the students’ understanding.
Why do I love it?
1) It’s really easy for French students to compartmentalize what they are learning. We’ll teach them ER verbs, then we move to another topic. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever use ER verbs again, but if it is not our focus, we need to be intentional about practicing with it often so they don’t forget what they have learned!
2) It’s much easier for you to see where they are. This helps you avoid gaps in their understanding.
3) Students who struggle will get a review that will also build their confidence. By starting with something familiar, you are giving them a chance to feel successful.
Overall, using a spiral review is an effective way to ensure that your students are mastering French vocabulary, verb conjugation, and language structures over time rather than attempting to learn everything all at once. Utilizing technology can make this process easier and more engaging while also helping you track which topics have been covered in previous classes so nothing gets missed! With these tips in mind, you should be able to easily incorporate spiral review into your foreign language curriculum and watch as your student’s fluency grows!